In March We Write
Once back from New Zealand the reality of the mountain that was the first six months of 2019 was clear. We got home in mid-February and immediately we were both in full production mode for Middle Realm's third short film 'White Feather'; we were shooting a bombed out field scene and Dan was eager to film before the spring growth kicked in - we had discovered a location that had been years in the finding and the results are beautiful but with that and Puppetry Training booked with the amazing Gyre and Gimble, writing the script was pushed to top of my list for March. Our wedding was booked in mid-May so I knew I really needed to get it written ASAP if it was going to happen at all - and the fear of it not happening was very real. I'm not going to lie, even with the pressure of a self-imposed deadline wrestling this unruly collection of stories in to a comprehensive play was hard. I spent most of the month fluctuating between terror and excitement - in fact to be fair that heady mix has never really left the process. It's odd, I can't actually remember writing the body of the play. I know I read the book several times and looked at all Arthur Rackham's beautiful pictures, I remember blocking out a very rough shape of bits of the book I wanted to include. I remember settling on the frame of George and Mary as one that would play to the strengths of Dan and I as actors and the exhilaration when I realised Peter's story with it's multiple characters could be told by these two. I remember one particular night, quite late in the process sitting up until three am in a flow of character dialogue that would not stop, when I eventually crept in to bed my feet and legs were so cold they were actually sucking heat out from the covers - I hadn't noticed the time or the cold. I remember printing the script out for our first company meeting and read through on the 10th April and the feeling of this thing in my hands, something physical that did not exist before. I remember the relief when the company laughed at the jokes. There have been edits and changes and cuts since then (24 drafts)- and they are still ongoing- an evolution which happens with any working script. It is the strangest thing, even now, to think that I was involved in writing this version of Pan's origin story - I feel I simply served a story that wanted to be told and gave it a way off the page and on to the stage. I can only hope I have served it well.